The owner of any brand new Mercury outboard motor will find it hard to resist the temptation to immediately drop the throttle and feel the sensation of smooth, unrelenting power. With a new motor, however, it will pay to walk before you run wide open. Exercise a little restraint and follow the break-in procedure devised by Mercury engineers, and your new motor can deliver a lifetime of dependable performance.
The team at Wired2Fish has put together this informative video to demonstrate a typical break-in scenario, which is outlined in detail in your Mercury outboard owner’s manual. Failure to follow the engine break‑in procedures can result in poor performance throughout the life of the engine and can cause engine damage.
The video features a new Ranger Z185 bass boat powered by a Mercury Pro XS 150 outboard, but the procedure is similar for most Mercury outboards. For this particular model, during the first two hours of operation run the engine at varied throttle settings up to 4500 RPM, with one-minute bursts at full throttle every ten minutes. Always warm up the motor thoroughly at idle before running at higher engine speeds. For the next eight hours you can run the motor in standard fashion but never for longer than five minutes at wide-open throttle. As demonstrated in the video, the Mercury VesselView Mobile app can be used to monitor the hours of operation, precise engine RPM, and other key information of any Mercury SmartCraft-capable outboard. Once the hour meter hits the 10-hour mark, the break-in process is complete and you are free to run the engine as you normally would.
Please note, your Mercury outboard owner’s manual will detail the recommended break-in procedure for your engine model. A future engine failure caused by improper break-in may not be covered by the Mercury warranty, so it’s well worth the time and effort to get your new rig thoroughly broken in the right way.